Pendleton Wildcats, 1965 38th District and 10th Region Champs, kneeling, from left: Phillip Wood, coach and Cecil Hellard, assistant coach. Standing: Ronnie Griffith, manager, Butch Hays, Gary Barnard, Larry Wells, Jackie Wright, Donald King, Billy Pugh, Jim House, Pete Wright, Kenny Ice, Elmo McKinney, Terry Gregg, Conley Thompson and Billy Dennie, manager.Wildcats celebrate the cutting of the nets after defeating Bryan Station.

Miracle in Mason: Pendleton County Boys Basketball Team defeats heavily favored Bryan Station for the regional crown, March, 1965

When Pendleton County’s Wildcats hoisted the winner’s trophy to the thunderous acclaim of their followers, many wondered how they had achieved this improbable victory. For, Bryan Station was big and powerful. They had two all-staters: Robert “Long John” Berry, 6’ 7”, at center and Hannibal Ware, a stylish guard who could do it all. Coach Phillip Wood said that when he scouted them the night before, they looked so organized, polished and strong, he thought there was no way that his smallish band of homegrown players could effectively compete against this power house from Lexington. But when the last shot was fired, the scoreboard blazed: Pendleton 70, Bryan Station 59!

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